Hi There! Well we just had to kick off our new blog site with an article on Resveratrol given the recent media flurry. Confession, we are in our mid forties with young children (11 yrs and under) so we are extremely interested in the claims regarding Resveratrol and its benefits to health, aging and more importantly healthy living.  We had the same kinds of questions as everyone else: ‘what is Resveratrol‘? what are the benefits and are the claims real? Well we did some basic research and have come up with enough positive information to decide that for us, its worth a trial and that it will deliver on our goal of healthy living.  Have a read and make up your own mind. Depending on the time of day you are reading this you may want to avail yourself with a glass of your favorite tipple – preferably red 🙂

Resveratrol is a polyphenol with important anti inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Resveratrol is produced when plants are under attack from bacteria or fungi. It is naturally occurring and found in the skins of red grapes, peanuts and some of other berries – and is present in red wine.  Researchers began to correlate the presence of Resveratrol with the so called ‘French paradox’ i.e. how could the French (on the whole) who consume a diet so much higher in fats than in most other countries, have such an unexpectedly low incidence of heart disease? Many researchers concluded the lower levels of heart disease among the French are due to regular consumption of red wine. Resveratrol has mild has anti-coagulating effects, which lessens the stress on the heart. It is also high in antioxidants which clean up the free radicals floating around in our blood from years of stress and living in polluted cities and eating food grown with pesticides etc. The majority of health researchers now concur free radicals are the cause of most of our modern degenerative diseases. So, the combination of observations listed above has lead man scientists, doctors and wine lovers to believe/declare that drinking moderate amounts of red wine may help fight cancer and increase overall health. So the benefits of red wine i.e. the side effects of Resveratrol are just great!

I am not being circumspect by saying ‘Resveratrol may be of benefit’. I just know there are many of you who, without the comfort of vast numbers of clinical trials will not be comfortable with a definitive claim. I on the other hand am a natural practitioner accustomed to working outside the realms of accepted science. We frequently achieve amazing results with our clients and are howled down because what we do does not fit. And, like many of you I have witnessed science do 360 degree turns often enough to known norms, well… change. It’s just the dinosaurs in positions of power clinging to one paradigm and power that make it hard for the rest of us. As for research well the groups of Howitz and Sinclair reported in 2003 in the journal Nature that Resveratrol significantly extends the lifespan of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.  Later studies conducted by Sinclair showed that Resveratrol also prolongs the lifespan of the worm Caenorhabditis elegans and the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster.  In 2007, a different group of researchers was able to reproduce Sinclair’s results, but a third group could not achieve consistent increases in lifespan. So, thus far, Resveratrol’s effects have been successfully tested on rodents, cell cultures and a human trial has just started showing interesting results (see video). In tests on rodents, Resveratrol has acted as an anti cancer agent, lowered blood sugar, increased cardiovascular function, removed brain plaque and lengthened overall life span due to the fact that its chemical structure activates what has been dubbed a ‘longevity’ or ‘starvation’ gene.

Anyway as we said, Resveratrol is a natural drug with the potential to fight three major types of disease currently ravaging the minds and bodies of modern man, namely cancer, Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease.  It was first isolated from hellebore roots in 1940, but it wasn’t until 1992 that it was tied to the positive effects of cancer reduction and cardiovascular health commonly associated with red wine.

Myth #1: Resveratrol is only found in red wine and not white wines.

Reality: While Red Wine contains a greater percentage of Resveratrol in it, white wines also contain Resveratrol. The amount present in white wines such as Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio are much lower then in most reds.

Myth #2: Resveratrol supplements are made from extracting it from red wines.

Reality: While many Resveratrol companies want you to think that Resveratrol comes from grapes most products are made from Japanese Knotweed. Knotweed is a much more cost effective and higher quality approach to making trans-resveratrol products.

Myth #3: Red wine has the highest concentrations of resveratrol compared to other foods.

Reality: Unless you eat Knotweed, and lots of it, then this is actually true. Red Grapes provide the highest concentrations of Resveratrol then other foods such as peanuts, bilberries, and cranberries. As we said, Resveratrol is also found in edible peanut kernels; one ounce of peanuts contains approximately 73 micrograms of Resveratrol. In comparison, almost 6 cups (or 2 pounds) of grapes contain about the same amount of Resveratrol. Red wine contains approximately 160 micrograms per fluid ounce.

Resveratrol’s chemical structure has a profound affect on genes. It can affect whether or not certain genes are switched on or off through a process called descetylation. In rodents it also inhibits the production of so called DNA debris (useless cellular material which is produced by multiple errors in cell replication) by up to 60%. This has a huge effect on the longevity of the test subject.

In humans, Resveratrol could potentially be a treatment for the following ailments:

  • Alzheimer’s
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Spinal Cord Injuries

It could also have the following benefits:

  • Increased longevity ie anti-aging
  • Enhanced athletic performance
  • Radiation exposure protection
  • Stroke damage protection

If you are to believe this 60 minutes story we either have two choices if you want a longer life either restrict your diet so the starvation gene activates or take a Resveratrol pill and live healthier.  From our perspective we intend to live as healthily and independently as we can while we are on this planet and from what we have seen so far it is certainly worth a try.  My partner and I have decided to order a trial package from Vital-RezV to see how we respond to it.

My concern as a natural health practitioner is that we need to be careful to say to a globe of addicts (on the whole) drink more alcohol.  Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy my glass of red wine (or two) as much as the next person – and I, like many of you, have seen serious addiction up close and personal. We do need to be careful that we maintain our levels to maximize overall health.  Sounds obvious right? Well we humans are not known on the whole for our restraint. It’s never a one size fits all situation hey?  Same goes for those with alcohol induced liver damage – and perhaps any other kind.  Actually check out this research publication at pub med which concludes that Resveratrol is useful (in mice anyway) in this context.  That’s why, all things being equal, Resveratrol supplements are so convenient- if you think you or a loved one may have a problem sticking to 1 – 2 glasses then a supplement is the perfect answer.  All the benefits and none of the risks.

If you do decide to try the benefits of red wine and/or Resveratrol supplements and you are taking Warfrin then you might benefit from getting your bloods checked more regularly. From my point of view (POV) – claims of anti coagulant properties should be taken seriously – maybe it could mean lowered levels of Warfrin?  That would be great!!! I don’t know – just something to keep in mind.

People from as diverse fields as Timothy Ferris author of the famous The 4 hour workweek are also touting the benefits of Resveratrol. I just about fell off my chair when I was reading  Tim’s Blog the other night on how to lose 20lbs in 30 days, not diet and have 1 – 2 glasses of wine a night for weight loss! And if you check out his site you will see he is ripped… have to say I was chuffed to read that. No I have not tried his plan – we have all had the flu – but when we *fully* recover I might give it a go.

Well as we said, we are going to trial it – because we live in Australia we do not have too many options open to us at the moment – but I have seen a number available in the USA. From my POV if you can free trial a supplement that is such a close bet then why not?  We sure as hell would. I would trial them all and then decide which one to go with – that way you get at least a couple of months just on postage and handling. I don’t know if you have noticed this – but if you go to a trial offer and then go to click away before completing the last step nine times out of 10 you will be offered a bonus of some description – whether it’s less shipping costs or something else. This seems to be a standard marketing ploy these days so use it – they make enough out of us anyway.

Finally, we will let you know about our experience with Resveratrol. We have also suggested a friend trial it so we will report on her experiences too. I don’t think anything makes us more conscious of health and aging as being in your forties… If any of you care to share your experiences we would be really pleased to hear them.

In the mean time enjoy your glass of red and live a long healthy life.